Hockey

Canadiens' Laraque out with lower back injury

Montreal Canadiens enforcer Georges Laraque is sidelined indefinitely because of back problems, the Montreal Gazette reported Thursday.

Montreal Canadiens enforcer Georges Laraque is sidelined indefinitely because of back problems, the Montreal Gazette reported Thursday. 

Laraque, 32, played a little over five minutes in Wednesday's 5-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres, skating eight shifts before departing in the second period.

Laraque, a Montreal native, has played sparingly for the Canadiens this season, largely due to problems with his lower back and groin, and partly because his role as an enforcer is a limited one.

That prompted the journeyman forward to publicly express his frustration, and wonder if he would be headed elsewhere prior to Wednesday's NHL trade deadline.

Laraque has posted just two assists and 52 penalty minutes in 28 games with the Canadiens, who inked him to a three-year, $4.5-million-US contract on July 3.

He has totalled 52 goals and 98 assists for 150 points with 1,089 penalty minutes in 662 games over 11 NHL seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, Phoenix Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins and Canadiens.

With files from the Canadian Press

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